Molecular characterization and expression of the cholesteryl ester transfer protein gene in chickens

Kan Sato, Aya Ohuchi, Tomokazu Sato, Wolfgang J. Schneider, Yukio Akiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The cDNA for cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP), a protein that catalyzes cholesteryl ester transfer between very low density and high density lipoproteins in plasma, was isolated from chicken liver. When the recombinant protein was overexpressed in HEK293 cells, cholesteryl ester transfer activity was observed in media and cell lysates. By Northern blot analysis, chicken CETP mRNA expression was detected in liver, brain, heart, and spleen. Changes in chicken CETP mRNA expression and plasma CETP activity with nutritional state were examined and found to increase following dietary supplementation with cholesterol in a similar way as in humans. Both the hepatic CETP mRNA levels and plasma CETP activity were significantly lower in mature (i.e egg-laying) hens than in immature female chickens, but were unaffected by age in male animals. Similar changes to those observed in female chickens were observed upon estradiol administration of males. The present study is the first to report the molecular characterization of an avian CETP, and the impairments of CETP gene and activity, which might be regulated by estrogen, play an important role in egg production in laying hens, demonstrating species-specific differences in the lipid metabolism of avian and mammalian species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-123
Number of pages7
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Oct
Externally publishedYes


  • Chicken
  • Cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP)
  • Estrogen
  • mRNA expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology


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